Athlete of Month: Gonzalez slides into high school softball


Alan Ruiz

Varsity outfielder Monica Gonzalez fields a ground ball during softball practice on Feb. 8.

Sophie Ortega

Every month, we recognize two student athletes, one from a boys team and another from a girls team, for their performance on the field. This month we recognize junior Monica Gonzalez.

Gonzalez has been an aspiring softball player all her life. With softball incorporated into her life at an early age, she decided to join Birmingham Community Charter High School‘s softball team and now has been playing with them for a few months.

Question: What position do you play and why?

Answer: Right now, I’m doing outfield. I’m just mainly working on right field right now because, I don’t know, it’s just the position I like. I like the place and it’s what I felt most comfortable in.

Q: How long have you been playing softball and when did you start?

A: I’ve been playing softball all my life honestly. Up to like three years ago, I quit. But I didn’t really, like, care that I quit at first because my older sister had also been playing with me. So, she was still playing. She’s a freshman in college now. So when she stopped playing a couple of months ago, I kind of felt like my life went from playing softball every single day to nothing so fast. I just wanted to change that, so I tried out for the team. And yeah, I made it because the coach knew my sister.

Q: What was the first league that you joined?

A: When I first started playing, there’s a park next to my school and my house. It was more like a recreational park. I think I was really little. I don’t remember how little I was, but that’s the first league I did play in at a little rec park.

Q: Do you like outfield better than playing infield positions?

A: Yeah, I feel like the infield is a lot scarier because you have to be more alert of the balls coming. 

Q: Have you tried playing new positions like catcher?

A: When I was in rec ball (recreational ball), my dad wanted me to be a pitcher one year when he coached me out in the park when I was really little. I was a catcher too at one point, actually for most of my rec softball career. Then I did infield and as I got older, I moved on to travel teams and I just felt like outfield was more of a position that I liked.

Q: What is the most challenging position to play?

A: Probably shortstop because you have to think so fast and you have to know where everything is going. You have to be aware of everything on the field and be able to catch the balls quickly too because you literally are in charge of the whole field. You have to tell people what to do. But from the position, you can see more so it’s just easier for you to see everything and be aware and be able to tell people to throw the ball.

Q: Is your sister a big reason why you wanted to play?

A: Yeah, because we’ve played together our whole lives and then she kept playing after I quit. When she stopped, I kind of wanted to play again. Also for my parents because I liked playing games and everything like going through different teams. And I was like, we had nothing to do on the weekends because before we were always just traveling to Vegas for games.